I grew up in the forests, fields and empty lots of a suburb northwest of Chicago, obtained an undergraduate degree in biology from Northeastern Illinois University, and migrated south to Clemson University where I studied under Sidney Gauthreaux, Jr.
After graduating with a master’s degree in ornithology in 1972, I began teaching at Fernbank Science Center in DeKalb County, Georgia, a career that lasted for 28.5 years. My position included teaching ornithology, ecology and animal behavior to grades K-12 along with numerous adult workshops that included natural history and birding trips throughout the United States, Central and South America and Africa.
In addition to teaching, I have written over 50 articles for the Fernbank Quarterly and The Oriole, the journal of the Georgia Ornithological Society. I began and operated a MAPS (Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship) banding station in Fernbank Forest, conducted schoolyard wildlife habitat workshops for the staff and students for DeKalb County Schools, and certify backyard wildlife sanctuaries for Atlanta Audubon Society.
Since 1992, I have planned and conducted bird identification workshops in the southeastern United States for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services, the US Forest Service, The Longleaf Alliance and Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama and Kentucky State Wildlife agencies to enable their wildlife biologists to inventory and monitor neotropical migratory birds.
I am a three time Past-President of the Atlanta Audubon Society and have served as Education Director, Vice-President and Director of Communications for Audubon. I was also the Chairperson of the Editorial Committee for the Georgia Ornithological Society and am currently on both the technical and advisory committees for the Important Bird Areas of Georgia. In addition, I have consulted on various environmental educational projects and wrote the bird curriculum for a joint program between Ecuador and Georgia entitled Our Shared Forests. I am also a certified Master Gardener for DeKalb County, Georgia and created a similar program, Master Birders, for Atlanta Audubon.
In 2008, I received the Writer of the Year Award from the Atlanta Branch of The National League of American Pen Women, Inc. and in 2010 received the Earle R. Greene Memorial Award by the Georgia Ornithological Society ofr Achievement in Ornithology and Bird Education.
I felt I had enough teaching left in me to offer programs and workshops so I began my own business, Birding Adventures Inc. I certainly wanted to continue taking people to some of the best birding locations in the world. Birding trips have taken my groups to Alaska, Maine, Texas (Rio Grande Valley), S.E. Arizona, Canada (Churchill, Lake Louise, Banff, Pt. Pelee), Washington (Olympic Peninsula and the Cascades), Montana (Glacier National Park), The Great Smoky Mountains, Africa (Kenya), Peru (Amazon River, Cock of the Rock, Amazonia, Manu National Park and Machu Picchu), Belize (Chan Chich and Lamanai Lodge), Costa Rica (Monteverde, La Selva OTS, Savegre River, Cerro de la Muerte, Carara, Las Cruces, Tortuguero, Corcovada, Braulio Carrillo, Tempisque River, Tapanti, Palo Verde, Santa Rosa), Ecuador (Tinalandia, Mindo, Napo River, Cotopaxi, Podocarpus NP, and San Ignacio) and Venezuela.
In addition, I wanted to share some of the articles and activities that I have written over the past 35 years. No point in keeping them in a file drawer. Feel free to use them or teach with them.